the stand of winter rye in my bed at the garden is pretty much ripe...there are still a few green stems in the bunch, however the seed heads are done and i wanted to get them out of the garden before the birds found them ( not that i begrudge the birds working at making a living but this rye is for the "bread from scratch" project..it's mine )...so i took the pruning shears i had in the truck and harvested the lot...laid it out on the ground...and tied it into a sheaf..in a few minutes i will take it out of the truck and into the basement until i can begin threshing and winnowing this long holiday weekend...there will be more on that as the tedious process unfolds.
it has rained off and on since my last trip out to the garden but it has been hit and miss and when i took a look at the jerusalem artichokes i thought it had been mostly miss here...but looking around the cuckes look fine and so do the beans and the lettuce...the asparagus is fine but has no new spears to report...the peppers are fine and so are the beefsteak and roma ( finally! ) tomatoes...needless to say i watered thoroughly anyway...
i had forgotten about the egyptian walking onions...planted last autumn and up this past spring they were completely subsumed by the winter vetch and its climbing ways...i had already come tot he conclusion that s green manures go winter vetch is as problematic as cow peas and will have to go as a concept...this batch his going to seed sop i will be pulling it and composting it rather than turning it under and another plant will have to be found...the onions are still there, if feeble and atrophied ( second and third photos )...and i am inclined to overwinter them and see what come up next spring ( i also purchased more sets to plant in the fall )...the plants develop aerial bulbs which pull the stem down with their weight and the bulbs root creating another generation...these tried their best under adverse conditions and did produce some ( fourth and fifth photos )...i am not sure if these are viable...we will be planting these as well to see...it is a family trait...following harsh winters soft neck garlic will produce aerial bulbs as well like the ones on red inchelium in the last two photos from last season...it is all in the allium family...genetics do not lie.
this field almost fooled me last week..not so today ..i knew what to look for and what i found was a no til bean field..from a distance it looks fallow...take a few steps in ( being careful not to step on bean plants...we are not intent on destruction ) and have a closer look and there are rows of beans between last season's corn stalks and the native plants burgeoning out there...the presence of those natives tells me that, unlike the field behind the big box stores, no herbicide has been here...the beans are well camouflaged...almost invisible...it will be interesting to see if they grow taller where the natives are thickest ( towards the edges of the field...the middle is relatively open ) or if they remain somewhat stunted...we will see...there will be more trips to the supermarket.
the bear paw maize in my yard is beginning to tiller ( first and third photos )..the teosinte has been tillering ( second and fourth photos )...the dense yellow number two in the last two photos has not and, probably, won't...the teosinte will produce multiple ears of seeds before the season ends...i am curious to see if the bear paw maize will...provided the squirrels do not cut the experiment short ( and i expect they will )...there may be a few plants in the industrial field that produce more than one ear..many will not...part of the process that allows them to be planted so closely together is a reduction in yield per plant..a trade off...fewer ears, more plants, aiming for an increase in bushels per acre...it is feedstock after all...more is better, right?
the thorny plant with the potato-like blooms in the first four photos has been identified as carolina horsenettle...which, unsurprising;ly, is a member of the solanum family and a cousin to the potato...it is also a nightshade ( like its cousins the potato and the tomato ) and is toxic to humans..it is a native of the southeast united states and has been steadily migrating to the north and west( although the usda classifies it as native in most of the contiguous forty eight states )..whether this is a marker of climate change or not is not clear to me ( yet )...however this is the very first time i have encountered this particular nightshade and i was immediately struck by the close resemblance between its flowers and the potato blossoms in the last three photos ( papa chonka, nevskii, and early blue respectively )...i will be on the look out for more of this...in the community garden, at home, and while wandering around...curious to see how prevalent it might be.
it's the twenty-fifth of june and no one has touched the biology club bed...so i took the liberty of cleaing it, turning in some compost, and putting in a planting of sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts for fall harvest...i purchased the kohlrabi seed ( fifth photo ) from seed savers' exchange and the brussesl sprout seeds ( sixth photo ) i saved from my garden last season...they look remarkably similar because kohlrabi and brussels sprouts are closely related ( the taxonomy for brussels sprouts is brassica oleracea and kohlrabi's is brassica oleracea gongylodes ...very close kin )...while i was clearing the bed i ran across a very thorny plant with blooms that look a great deal like potato blossoms...i haven't a clue what this is....but i have put out queries to more knowledgeable folks...an answer may be forthcoming...if i find out there will be a communication.
an industrial worker and university student (everyone needs a hobby...my hobbies have evolved and, to keep things straight, i have left my formal student career behind for reasons that are too detailed to delve into here...continuing to be a student of life however and not adverse to learning...stasis is death ) sliding down the back side of middle age...a social loner with collectivist leanings...explain that.